So today we went to visit Ron’s parents so that they could spend some time with Simon and I could learn how to make “zongzi“. I first went with Ron’s mom to the supermarket to buy ingredients: rice, fatty pork, Chinese sausage, dried shitake mushrooms, garlic, ginger, salted duck eggs, bamboo leaves, twine, and peanuts. The other ingredients like soy sauce, rock sugar, rice wine, white pepper, fried shallots, and oil were already things she had at home. After some precooking of the ingredients, we had all our ingredients laid out ready to wrap.
The preparation and cooking took about 1.5-2 hours but the wrapping took about 3-4 hours. It is pretty hard to get a hang of since if you don’t do it correctly, the rice seeps out and can ruin your zongzi.
After we finished wrapping, the zongzi had to be boiled in hot water for about 5 minutes then steamed in a steamer. Unfortunately, after steaming for about 30 minutes, Ron’s dad comes to realize that mom bought the wrong type of rice. I had always been under the impression that you use sticky rice but at the grocery store, his mom bought long grain rice. I asked her about it and she said this was the type of rice she normally uses. But after steaming the zongzi, the rice wasn’t cooked all the way through and was kind of hard and very separated. So although the filling tastes good, I’m not sure if we can salvage all the zongzi we made, there are maybe 35 of them. We only took a few home so I’m going to try boiling the entire thing to see if the rice will cook all the way. The flavor might all come out though into the water so we’ll see how it goes. But thanks to Ron’s mom for teaching me how to prepare them.
During the time we were preparing them, Simon had been sleeping in his car seat for about 2 hours.
For some reason, he wriggled his little hand out of the blanket and didn’t want to have it covered.
We originally started out the day at their office. Ron was going to stay with Simon and his dad at the office and as I was going to leave with Ron’s mom to go to their house to prepare the zongzi, I started to cry so Ron and Simon came home with us too. It hit me that I have less than 2 weeks left to be full time at home with Simon. It’s amazing how fast time flies and how much Simon has grown the last few months. I’m not sure if I’ll survive the first day back at work without crying. I had Ron promise me that he’ll send me at least a picture a day when I’m back at work.
On a happier note, we had a hilarious surprise from Simon as we were leaving the grandparents. Grandpa Chung was saying his goodbyes and trying to get Simon to smile and instead, Simon broke out in hiccuping laughter! I recently got a Flip SlideHD Camcorder and caught this:
Sleeping update: Simon did not sleep through the night last night. I hope it’s just another growth spurt. But at least it wasn’t too terrible, he slept 4 hours, woke up to eat, and slept another 5 hours. He only had two real naps today so I’m hoping he will sleep longer tonight.